Duke Energy Asks Customers to Foot Bill for $646 Million Loss as Another U.S. Nuclear Project Is Abandoned

first_imgDuke Energy Asks Customers to Foot Bill for $646 Million Loss as Another U.S. Nuclear Project Is Abandoned FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Charlotte Observer:Duke Energy said it plans to abandon construction of a nuclear station near Gaffney, S.C., and that it wants customers to pay about $636 million for the scrapped project.Charlotte-based Duke requested Friday that state regulators allow cancellation of its Lee nuclear station, citing in part this year’s bankruptcy filing by nuclear-reactor supplier Westinghouse, the primary contractor on the project. In its request to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, Duke said the risks and uncertainties of starting construction on the project “have become too great” and that cancellation “is the best option for customers.Duke’s decision to abandon the Lee plant comes after two other utilities, South Carolina Electric and Gas and its partner Santee Cooper, recently halted construction on the V.C. Summer nuclear project near Columbia because of high costs, low demand for energy and Westinghouse’s bankruptcy. Westinghouse this week announced furloughs and layoffs for workers in Charlotte and South Carolina.More: Duke wants customers in Charlotte, elsewhere to pay $636M for abandoned projectAssociated Press:In a separate filing Friday, Duke Energy admitted it blew past a $120 million cap the North Carolina regulatory commission set in 2011 for the state’s ratepayers. Duke Energy Carolinas admitted it has incurred $332 million trying to build the Lee nuclear plant, and said it didn’t need to clear with regulators that it was exceeding the cap.The utility “respectfully asserts that is not required to request that the Commission review the Company’s decision to incur project development cost,” the company’s filing said.Considering how far along Duke Energy Carolinas was in the process of getting a federal operating license for the nuclear plant, it would have been unreasonable to suspend these efforts once the company hit the cap. Besides, Duke Energy said, it kept the commission informed in semi-annual reports, implying regulators had a chance to object before now.David Drooz, the top state lawyer representing utility consumers, said his office would study the details of Duke Energy’s arguments and take a public position later.State regulators should carefully examine Duke Energy’s bill for the Lee nuclear plant and push the company toward more use of renewable energy, said Peter Ledford, an attorney with North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, an advocacy group.“Lee Nuclear has never, and now will never, generate a single watt of electricity, whereas their investments in solar are providing ratepayers with consistent energy generation,” he wrote in an email. “This clean and affordable resource does not have the same construction and fuel risks associated with coal, natural gas, or nuclear.”More: Duke Energy scraps SC nuke plant, seeks higher power rateslast_img read more

Oklahoma coal company pans utility’s solar plans in Indiana

first_imgOklahoma coal company pans utility’s solar plans in Indiana FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Alliance Resource Partners is urging Indiana regulators to deny Vectren South’s application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a proposed 50-megawatt solar facility, according to filings with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.Debate over what would be one of the largest solar projects in Indiana to date is heating up at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which is expected to enter a final order in the case in the first half of 2019.Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Alliance, along with the entire Indiana coal industry, is opposing plans by Vectren South to shutter about 700 MW of its coal-fired generating capacity by 2023, keeping open only 270-MW Unit 3 at the Culley power plant in Warrick County, Indiana. Alliance has argued that fuel and generation “diversity” is not a sufficient justification for the $76 million project.Alliance, in a regulatory filing last week, said Vectren has never demonstrated the need for additional generating capacity and is expected to have an approximately 200-MW generation surplus in 2025. Given that projection, building the solar project in Perry County, Indiana, merely to diversify the utility’s generation portfolio is ill-advised and could cost Vectren South’s 140,000 ratepayers millions of dollars in unnecessary expense over the years, the coal company contends.Vectren, in a rebuttal to the Alliance filing, disagreed. “As with other solar projects the commission has approved, increasing capacity was never a main driver for the solar project,” Vectren said. “Vectren South presented evidence that the primary drivers for the solar project are diversifying Vectren South’s generation portfolio, complementing existing generation resources, low variable-cost power, and responding to customer desires and encouraging economic development.”Vectren also disputed Alliance’s claim that only a handful of Vectren’s largest customers, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing USA, have encouraged the utility to add more renewable energy resources to its mix.More: Alliance argues against Vectren’s proposed solar project in Indianalast_img read more

Study: Billions in losses across European coal generation industry this year

first_imgStudy: Billions in losses across European coal generation industry this year FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Around 79% of the European Union’s coal power fleet runs at a loss, and will burn through €6.57 billion this year.Economics thinktank Carbon Tracker used asset-level financial models to analyze the operating economics of every coal plant in the EU. The resulting analyst note – “Apocoalypse Now” – not only had a title to make pv magazine’s editors jealous, but exposed the idea of coal being the cheapest energy source.Carbon Tracker analysts estimated 84% of lignite and 76% of hard coal generation capacity is operating at a loss in the political bloc, and the two forms of fossil fuel generation could lose €3.54 billion and €3.03 billion, respectively, this year. Against ‘relentless’ competition from solar and wind power, the financial case for coal is becoming incrementally worse, according to data provided by Carbon Tracker. In 2017, the report stated, ‘only’ around 46% of EU coal generators ran at a loss.The authors sourced data from the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, and from energy transition thinktank Agora Energiewende to generate assumptions about the costs associated with coal power plants.The coal industries most exposed to financial risk this year are in Germany (which could lose €1.97 billion), Spain (€922 million) and Czechia (€899 million), according to the study. The utilities facing the stiffest coal-related losses are Germany’s RWE (€975 million), Czech energy company EPH (€613 million) and Greece’s PPV (€596 million).More: European coal fleet will run at a loss of €6.57bn this yearlast_img read more

Denmark moves forward with plan for 10GW of offshore wind

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Denmark is moving forward with plans to build an artificial island tying in power from offshore wind farms of up to 10 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, more than enough to supply all households, as part of efforts to meet ambitious climate change targets.Denmark is home to wind turbine giant Vestas and the world’s largest developer of offshore wind, and recently approved a law which targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.Denmark covered 41% of its electricity demand from wind energy in 2018, the highest level in Europe.The project is crucial to meet Denmark’s legally binding climate act, one of the world’s most ambitious, which was passed by a broad majority in parliament on Friday. But the plans could cost as much as 200-300 billion Danish crowns ($29.5-44.2 billion), the vast majority of which will be financed by private investors, according to the ministry.Denmark, which has a population of around 6 million, has set aside 65 million crowns to research how the energy coming into the hub can be stored or converted into renewable hydrogen as all the power generated will not just be used by domestic customers. It hopes that new technology will make it possible to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy in sectors such as transport and industry. [Stine Jacobsen]More: Denmark plans $30 billion offshore wind island that could power 10 million homes Denmark moves forward with plan for 10GW of offshore windlast_img read more

Does Cycling Cause Impotence?

first_imgColin Izzard of Carmichael Training Systems rides with a client near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, N.C.Riding a bike certainly doesn’t help your sex life. In 1997, a small Boston University study showed a link between cycling and erectile dysfunction. The study lacked peer review and had a few key flaws (a large age gap between the cyclists and non-cyclists could have skewed the results), but a number of subsequent scientific studies have come to a similar conclusion: biking for many hours a week can lead to erectile dysfunction and other fertility issues. A 2009 study of triathletes from the University of Cordoba in Spain found athletes who biked the most had the lowest sperm quality. A study of 2,000 men attending fertility clinics in Boston showed that men biking five or more hours per week had lower sperm concentration and lower active sperm.Sitting on a bike seat puts undue pressure on the perineum, causing the compression of an artery and key nerves.Dr. Steven Schrader studied the health effects of bicycle saddles on bicycle police officers for a decade for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The bike cops he studied in five major cities had reduced nighttime erections and 60 percent less feeling in their penis. A separate study Schrader performed on competitive female cyclists showed similar results on women’s genitalia. Cyclists who sit on traditional saddles are putting 25 percent of their body weight on their perineum, which houses the major blood vessels that supply the genital region.“It’s enough pressure to completely restrict the blood flow and oxygen flow to the penis,” Dr. Schrader says. “The more aero your position, the more pressure you’re putting on your perineum.”The bike cops that Schrader studied were logging 25 hours a week on the bike and the women cyclists were riding 99 miles per week. But according to Dr. Schrader’s studies, and several separate studies since, within three minutes of sitting on a traditional saddle, the blood flow to your penis is practically zero.“When you sit on a traditional saddle, you’re closing blood vessels off, and that’s not healthy,” says Schrader.And contrary to popular belief, traditional bike saddles with the hole or ridge in the center only put more pressure on the perineum, and no amount of bike fitting will fix the problem either.“There’s no scientific data to support the notion that a proper bike fitting will eliminate the pressure on the perineum. If you’re using a traditional saddle, fit won’t fix the problem,” Schrader says. 1 2last_img read more

A National Park for Maine?

first_imgWilderness advocates have been wanting to create a Maine Woods National Park and Preserve for 20 years, but politicians have consistently caved in to opponents, even tabling an offer by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby, who offered to donate land to create a much smaller park alongside Baxter State Park, pictured here. Photo courtesy of Numbphoto, FlickrEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on the proposal to turn parts of the Northern Forest in Maine into a big national park?                                                                                    — Peter Griswold, Jaffrey, NH The idea of turning a large chunk of forest in central Maine into a national park dates back at least 150 years when Henry David Thoreau himself called for making the region “a national preserve” in essays about his travels through the area via foot and canoe in the 1850s. To this day most of the areas in central Maine that Thoreau visited are still primarily undeveloped save for intermittent timber extraction.But recent changes in land ownership there are worrying ecologists. The non-profit RESTORE: The North Woods has been carrying the torch for creating a Maine Woods National Park and Preserve for 20 years and reports that, between 1994 and 2005, the share of forest land in Maine’s 9.3 million acre Unorganized Territory owned by timber companies dropped from 59.2 to 15.5 percent while that owned by investors grew from 3.2 to 32.6 percent. RESTORE is concerned that this dramatic change positions the region for a real estate gold rush. A huge development already planned for the shores of Moosehead Lake in the region is just one example of the kinds of changes afoot that could decimate the region’s wilderness qualities.RESTORE’s proposal, first aired in 1994, calls for setting aside 3.2-million acres surrounding Baxter State Park (home of Maine’s tallest peak, Mt. Katahdin, and the northern tip of the Appalachian Trail) as a national park. Bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, the proposed park would safeguard thousands of miles of rivers and streams while providing unfragmented habitat for wildlife.According to RESTORE, there are no significant chunks of undeveloped wilderness anywhere in the Northeastern United States and that such a large park “is needed to protect wildlife habitat on a landscape scale to allow for adaptation in the face of unprecedented climate change.” Also, the proposed park would ensure permanent access for outdoor recreation and support a diversified and sustainable economy. Although RESTORE’s campaign has the backing of a majority of Maine residents, it has failed to gain enough traction to make it before Congress. Some blame local opposition, allied as the Maine Woods Coalition, for convincing the state’s Congressional delegation not to push for the proposal.A new proposal from Burt’s bees founder Roxanne Quimby later rekindled the issue: In May 2011 she offered to donate up to 70,000 acres she owns adjacent to Baxter State Park for a new national park, along with a $40 million endowment for park operations. And to appease those opposed to RESTORE’s proposal, she offered a similar amount of land for multiple-use, including hunting. Quimby’s proposal includes only lands she owns, and would create a much smaller park than what RESTORE envisioned.A few months after Quimby made her offer known U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis held a public listening session in Millinocket, Maine. But then in February 2012, Maine’s Congressional delegation convinced Secretary Salazar to table the new proposal for the time being. So for now, the fate of millions of trees—the veritable lungs of the Northeastern U.S.—and hundreds of wildlife species may just hang in the balance.CONTACTS: RESTORE’s Maine Woods National Park: A Vision of What Could Be, www.mainewoods.org; Maine Woods Coalition, www.mainewoodscoalition.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more


first_imgThe crackle of the fire hypnotizes me.  Flames lick up and consume each piece of chopped birch. It’s been a perfect day: friends converging on the slopes of Snowshoe Mountain.  My trashed quads tell the story of just how hard I played on my skis.Six inches have already fallen, with eight more expected overnight. It’s as if nature is creating an exclusive playground for us while we sleep, and all we need to do is wake up and clip in to our ski boots.This experience could not have come at a better time for me. Over the past few months, I have been dealing with one of the most difficult challenges of my life. It started with a headache that lasted for over two weeks straight. I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t focus on work, couldn’t think, couldn’t smile. Finally I broke down and went to the ER. A CT scan uncovered an unfamiliar mass in my brain. It was seven millimeters in diameter, about the size of a fingernail.It didn’t make sense. I had put so much emphasis on personal fitness and health. Why would this happen to me?I was flooded with fear. What if my twenties was as far as life would take me?  What would I miss out on?A visit to the neurologist and an MRI were the next steps. I had recently turned 26 and gone onto my own health insurance plan. The costs were racking up at an alarming rate. Worse still was the uncertainty and mental turmoil as I waited to hear the prognosis.More MRIs followed and nothing was decided with any certainty. “We need to keep an eye on this over the next few months and see if it grows,” the docs said. As my hopes for a life full of adventure and adrenaline waned, I sunk deeper into despair.Then I received a call from my sister: “Let’s plan a ski trip together,” she said.A few weeks later, here I am. I step out onto the porch to grab more firewood, and I am greeted by the profound silence of a winter night. It’s like being in a professional recording studio; it is nature’s audio damping. I stick my tongue out just like I did when I was a kid to catch some flakes in my mouth. The foot of perfect powder on the porch is growing every second.I throw another log on the fire, and my thoughts extend only to tomorrow and no further. Tomorrow, the powder conditions will be absolutely perfect. The Mumford and Sons song, “White Blank Page,” comes into my head, and I realize that is what we are going to have: a clean slate of powder and the ability to make completely fresh tracks.I close my eyes and imagine what it will be like tomorrow: one fist punching in front of the other as my poles lead the way, the repetitive loading and releasing of energy through the edges of my skis, back and forth, back and forth—it’s such a simple but addictive motion.Chris GragtmansSometimes, when skiing powder, I leave the earth. I pick up speed until I silently lift into the air, carried by the mysterious certainties of gravity and physics, down the mountain, airborne over the snow.Tonight, the falling snow is soothing some sharp emotions inside me.  There are things that I have control over in life, and there are things beyond my influence. I can’t do anything about the mass beneath my skull, but I can do something about the thoughts that flow through my brain. I can make a choice to keep living life to the fullest or allow fear to cripple me.One thing is certain. I know that I have packed everything that I possibly could have into the quarter century of my existence so far. I don’t want my story to end yet, but if it does, I will close my eyes without a single regret.I spread the ashes of the fire, take one last look out at the blizzard, and walk to bed. As I drift off to sleep, my last thought is of the rope dropping at the top of my favorite run.  I sprint out in front and carve the first tracks into an immaculate mountain of powder. •last_img read more

A common weed could feed the world

first_imgToday, three plants—corn, soybeans, and rice—feed most of the people on the planet. But for most of human history, people ate the seeds and fruit of hundreds of native plants. Our food system today is more productive—but also more vulnerable. It’s a concern that has haunted Stephen Carmody, an archaeologist at The University of the South. He has spent decades exploring ancient caves in the Southeast searching for plants that people had forgotten. To his surprise, most of the ancient seeds and plants he has uncovered are still around today, growing wild in nearly every habitat—along railroad tracks, in abandoned fields, and even in many backyards and gardens.“Indigenous people ate dozens of plants that today we call weeds,” says Carmody. Last year, Carmody uncovered seeds in a Tennessee cave that were at least 8,000 years old. He experimentally planted a few of the seeds, including seeds for the common weed often called lambsquarters or Chenopodium. Because lambsquarters are native to the Southeast, they are equipped with everything they need to grow. While it takes roughly 3,000 gallons of water to produce a bushel of corn, growing lambsquarters requires next to nothing. Lambsquarters utilize long tap roots that stretch deep into the soil, sucking up all the water and minerals they need to thrive.  Lambsquarters’ leaves contain more nutrients than spinach and produce a seed similar to quinoa—a superfood so popular that Whole Foods can barely keep it in stock.Currently, the vast majority of the foods grown on both organic and conventional farms is not native to the region in which they are grown. These crops are less hardy and poorly adapted to regional climate and conditions. Nonnative plants and food crops also tend to require a lot of fertilizers, pesticides, water, and money. Yet growing lambsquarters is as simple as scattering seed, walking away, and returning a few months later to harvest. Growing lambsquarters and other ancient foods could be part of a new agricultural revolution as climate change threatens conventional crops and farming methods.“As a soil scientist, I think the most important thing that we can do is understand the limits of what the land can produce and communicate that to people,” says Troy Milosovich, researcher and farm manager with Carmody’s Native Cultigen Experimental Farm.  “Globally, we have lost half of our soil’s organic matter. Look at the amount of land we are no longer able to farm due to erosion. We can’t continue to do what we’ve done in the past and continue to feed a growing population.”Carmody admits that growing out native plants by itself won’t solve the global food crisis, but it can help farmers regionally and globally adapt to climate change. “The crops we grow today are adapted to a climate that won’t exist in one hundred years,” says Carmody. “We need to be integrating more native species of plants that can withstand climate extremes.”Many agricultural innovations require significant capital. In this case, we can address part of a global problem with a simple, ancient seed—and a change in our perspective on what we consider a weed.“My urge is to get rid of weeds,” says Dr. Sarah Sherwood, a soil scientist at the University of the South. “But what is a weed really but a plant whose use we haven’t discovered. Changing the way we view plants like lambsquarters can lead to changes in our diets, our health, and the health of the food system. Sometimes the most elegant and important solutions can be right beneath our feet.”last_img read more

Trail Mix | Peter Cooper

first_imgJohn Prine and me. We both get it.As I was putting the finishing touches on this blog post, a message traveled across my Facebook feed. It was from John Prine, and it read “I really enjoyed this book; reading about Cowboy (Jack Clement) brought back many great memories . . . highly recommend!”The book Prine was referring to was Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music.I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Cooper a number of years ago. I once spent time around a table laden with bourbon and cupcakes discussing music and, ultimately, some of the same characters that made it into this book. As a professor at Vanderbilt University and writer for the The Tennessean, singer-songwriter, and now senior director at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooper has been blessed with the good fortune to have spent much of his adult life surrounded by country music icons.Cooper has written stories about, written songs with, opened concerts for and played concerts with, or interviewed an enviable list of country music’s best. And, as his book points out, that list includes names you know – Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, George Jones, Loretta Lynn – and maybe some you don’t, like Lloyd Green, Don Schlitz, and David Olney. Many of the names I knew. Some of them I didn’t. But, in every case, I knew the stories surrounding the names were significant and of import, for if they weren’t, Cooper wouldn’t share them.So take it from me, and John Prine, that this book is definitely worth your time.I recently caught up with Peter Cooper to chat about the book, musicians and writers he admires, and the fun business.BRO – Which story from your book is the one you are most looking forward to telling your son when he is old enough to appreciate it?PC – Everybody in the world would be better off if they’d met Cowboy Jack Clement and soaked up his wisdom. I’d like my son to understand and appreciate the story about Cowboy stopping a nervous recording session by saying, “Remember, we’re in the fun business. If we’re not having fun, we’re not doing our jobs.” I’d like my boy to grow up and enter the fun business one day.BRO – I enjoyed reading about your ever-evolving list of favorite records. What is the newest record to make the list?PC – I think you’re talking about my list of Ten Favorite Country and Americana albums, which changes every few minutes. Today’s additions to that list are Old Crow Medicine Show’s 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde, which was recorded at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s CMA Theater, by the way, and Mickey Newbury’s Live at Montezuma Hall. And Rodney Crowell’s Close Ties is genius level work, too. If I’m going to be honest here, I’m also going to have to include an album I co-produced: I Sang the Song: Life of the Voice With a Heart, which Thomm Jutz and I wrote with the great Mac Wiseman, who’ll turn 92 on May 23rd of this year. We essentially wrote Mac’c musical memoir and then called in John Prine, Alison Krauss, Jim Lauderdale, and other wonderful people to sing the songs. It’s one of the most touching, heartfelt albums in country music history. I’m beyond proud to have been a part of it. Isn’t pride one of the deadly sins? So be it.BRO – Do you still get starstruck?Having a great appreciation for art and artists is different from being starstruck. The appreciation thing makes you smarter, where the starstruck things makes you dumber. I’m only starstruck around two people, and I know both of them pretty well. One of them is Tom T. Hall, who is a friend and a profound inspiration, every day. He has supported me, engaged with me, talked me up, and done everything he could to make me feel comfortable around him. But I’m still nervous in his presence, and I’m profoundly aware that losing his respect or chipping away at his goodwill would be positively crippling for me. The other person I get starstruck around is Peter Guralnick, who actually wrote the forward to this book. Peter is the best researcher of all the great writers, and he is the best writer of all the great researchers. I know enough about writing to know that it is impossible to be on Peter Guralnick’s level. You’d be better off finding Lebron James and challenging him, one-on-one. Like Tom T., Peter is also gracious and kind to others in public and in private. Maybe it’s not starstruck so much as it’s the odd sensation of being praised and encouraged by these men’s words and deeds at the same time you’re being humbled by their unmistakable mastery and their profound humanity.BRO – What artists do you see ready to step up and carry the flame after this generation of country icons fades away?PC – Truly iconic work never fades away. We’re always going to have Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, and Emmylou Harris. That said, there are people walking and singing and playing amongst us that make special and enduring music. I’ve been inspired by Jason Isbell’s songwriting, guitar playing, and performances. I think Chris Stapleton is a singer for the ages. There’s a young guy on Warner Bros. Records named Charlie Worsham who is as talented, driven, accessible, and interesting as heroes of his like Vince Gill and Marty Stuart. Sierra Hull plays the mandolin like no one ever has, and she’s a commanding performer, at age 25. My friend Thomm Jutz is as compelling an acoustic guitar player as anyone on the planet. Anyone who wonders where all the good music has gone is not intellectually curious enough to seek out the good music that is happening right now.BRO – Are you already busy collecting tales for the next book?PC – I know exactly what I want the next book to be, and I know it’s going to take time and study, and I know for sure that it is nothing anyone else is thinking about writing. It has the potential to be a best-seller and it has the potential to be a tremendous failure or to go unpublished. But, man, it’ll be fun. We’re in the fun business, you know? If we’re not having fun, we’re not doing our jobs.Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride:  Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music is out now via Spring House Press. Look for it wherever it is you happen to buy books.last_img read more

Blackberry Farm Brewery Releases New IPA

first_imgI can’t have nice things. I bought a nice minivan once. My son spilled grape Gatorade in it on the way home from the dealership. It’s not so nice anymore. I’ve had plenty of nice gear in my day—hyper-light tents and state of the art bikes and backpacks, and I’ve systematically ruined it all through sheer abuse and neglect. So no, I can’t have nice things. And logic would dictate that I also can’t go to nice places. Put me in a four-star hotel and I feel awkward, like I’m 13 and going through a massive growth spurt again. I tug at my shirt sleeves and accidentally knock over lamps. I’m better off camping in the backyard of nice places. In a tent that I’ve already ruined.BlackBerry Farm is a nice place I can’t go. This is an expansive 4,200-acre “farm” with a lake and cottages and restaurant, all known for its hospitality and farm to fork food program. The nightly rate is roughly the cost of my minivan, and even if I could afford it, I’d probably just end up throwing up on the 900 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. That’s just how I do.So, Blackberry Farm is out of my reach. But they also have a brewery that makes some really nice beer. And while I can’t have nice things or go to nice places, I can drink nice beer. That’s a luxury that even I can’t ruin.BlackBerry Farm started making saisons a few years ago. They come in those fancy big format bottles that make you think you should save them for a special occasion. And you should, because they’re so delicate and nuanced that you need to sit down and pay attention and contemplate them. Maybe while reading Kafka or something. But they also released a few beers in cans this summer that are far more approachable, including this IPA, which is anything but delicate. Coyote Tactics is a brash IPA in the West Coast mold, full of pine and hop resin and just enough sweetness hanging out in the background to keep it all in check. It finishes dry and will knock you on your ass at 7.3% ABV.I stumbled across it while in the middle of Tennessee a couple of weeks ago and drank an entire six pack without even realizing it. And not once did I feel awkward or out of place or knock over any lamps or throw up on expensive furniture. So maybe I can have nice things. As long as those things are beer. And I’m out in a field somewhere away from the nearest lamp.last_img read more